responsible for this move. There might also have been the hope that the
Russians would refuse to negotiate on such a basis.
While the talks between the British and Polish statesmen were still in
progress, the Kremlin launched an attack on the Polish Government in
Pravda on February 12 which, in its violence, transcended anything
hitherto published by that paper. The Soviets' impatience and anger
over their lack of success in the discussion was obvious. Pravda* wrote :—
" The emigre Polish Government and its servants wage no fight against
the Germans, do not wish to wage it and cannot wage it ...
" The emigre Polish Government, which includes Fascist political cheap-
jacks 3 has lost all sense of reality. It lives in a phantom world of Hitler
mirage. It has completely severed itself from the real Polish people, who
are waging a relentless struggle against the German invaders and their
Polish assistants. The London Polish political cheap jacks have nobody to
back them in Poland except the pro-Fascist agencies which are helping the
Germans, and the simpletons they have misled.
"All Poles who value Poland's honour and independence march with the
' Union of Polish Patriots ' in the U.S.S.R."
The comment on this article, cabled by Reuter's correspondent in
Moscow, contained an obvious threat to the Polish Government. " If
Pravda's statement," wrote Reuter's correspondent, " were not a news-
paper article, but an official accusation drawn up by the Soviet's public
prosecutor, all Polish leaders incriminated therein would be liable to
arrest if they ever set foot in Poland again."
Pravda''s attack seemed to spell finis to any hopes of an agreement on
Polish problems by way of negotiation, and meant that the Kremlin
would now, without awaiting a reply from London, consider employing
other means in order to settle this problem. The article was practically
ignored by the Press of America and England. The Spectator wrote :
" The Pravda attack on the Polish Government, was a violation of
ail the decencies which nations banded against the foulest indecency the
world has ever known are under plain moral compulsion to observe."
" The article in Pravda," as the London Dziennik Polskirealised,cc was not
only directed against the Polish Government residing abroad, but against
the Underground State within the country itself.
" The (London) Government," Pravda has dared to write, " has no
* Incidentally, it is worth mentioning the role which Pravda (and every other
Russian newspaper) played in the policy of the Soviets. Pravda is the official
organ of the Communist Party, who f anticipate, govern and command the State/
Yet in spite of this fact, the ruling Soviet circles, (officially the Kremlin), do not
admit responsibility for the articles published in this paper. When the British
Government demanded an apology from the Soviet Government for the language
and criticisms used in its newspaper in 1932, Moscow refused^ declaring that she
was only responsible for orders given by her Government and not for newspaper
articles. Yet on the other hand, as it transpired in the case of the recounted affair
of the Polish newspapers in Britain, the Kremlin held not only the Poles, but the
British Government responsible for the publications and demanded the suppres-
sion of certain of the newspapers,